Spending Energy

11 Jan 2015

Where Will Your Energy Go in 2015?

As I get older, I am more aware of the limits of my energy. So when I think about having another year to, “laugh and love and live,” as my dad used to say, I’m starting to consider the coming months differently.

The first difference is that I am looking at the “channels” where my energy can flow, rather than specific goals I want to accomplish.

Hmmm. Energy vs. goals.

Both are important. But it seems I first need to identify what is important in my life, and where of the many potential directions, I want to go this year. Where will I put my energy?

As a coach, I usually ask my coachees (clients) to identify the ‘big rocks’ (priorities) in their lives. These are the major responsibilities that you need to balance in your life; they don’t change much from year to year unless you have a significant shift like a job change.

Channels are a different. I see them as more specific aspects of those big rocks that you really want to see grow and expand in the next year.

For example, one of my big rocks is the vacation rental business I want to grow this year. My major channels are pursuing new clients and creating sustainable and reproducible systems for each aspect of the business. There will be many other responsibilities that will take my time and energy as well, but these are the ones I would like to really give my energy to this year.

And that brings me to another realization. I find I have different kinds of energy, and when one is exhausted, another may still have some fuel in the tank. When it comes to channeling my energy, I have creative/initiative energy and responsive energy. One is PROactive; the other is REactive.

CREATIVE/PROACTIVE ENERGY: Since my primary channels are going to need my creative, proactive energy, I will need to use the time of day when I feel most optimistic and excited to work on these priorities. Since I sometimes need to introvert, I know I need to have my priorities done before I run out of energy. Using up my energy doing little routine things won’t help me reach my goals.

RESPONSIVE ENERGY: I find I have a lot of responsive energy. This includes giving energy towards life maintenance and being available when stuff happens. Life includes a lot of mundane tasks, and they take energy too. I just need to make sure they have their rightful place.

PEOPLE ENERGY: I also have a third kind of energy I call people energy. I love being with people, sharing my life, and talking about deep issues that impact our world. But I find that if I’ve had some extended time with people—even good friends—I need to step back and allow that energy to replenish while I work on other things.

I encourage you to take a look at the year ahead and consider where you would like your energy to flow. Sometimes it’s the important or urgent, but sometimes it’s the deepest desires of your heart that have gotten shorted in the past.

Knowing where you want your energy flow will help stem the tyranny of the urgent. When you have set priorities, you have a better chance of steering your life rather than life pushing you around.

Make them a priority this year. Then consider how you allot your various energies so that at the end of the year your can reflect on a year will lived.

 

Royalty-free image by Flavio Takemoto in Brazil. Retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1160571

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